Glasnow Named Best EL Pitching Prospect, Bell Named Best Hitting Prospect

Baseball America continued with their best tools series on Wednesday, going to AA, where two Pittsburgh Pirates’ players got some high praise. Tyler Glasnow was named the best pitching prospect in the Eastern League, while Josh Bell was named the best hitting prospect. Glasnow also got the best breaking pitch and Gift Ngoepe was named the best defensive shortstop. All three players have already moved up to Indianapolis.

Bell was named the best hitting prospect in the FSL last year, but Glasnow lost out in both categories to Jose Berrios of the Twins’ organization. Before being sent to Indianapolis, Bell hit .307/.376/.427 in 96 games. He had an excellent 44:50 BB/SO ratio and at age 22, he was 2.5 years younger than the average hitter in the league.

Glasnow had an abbreviated stay in AA due to his ankle injury, but when he pitched, he was dominant. His curve, which got him the best breaking ball, has been considered a plus pitch for awhile and when he’s throwing strikes with his mid-90’s fastball, then the curve becomes unhittable. On his good days, there is an 18-20 MPH difference between the two pitches. For Altoona, Glasnow had a 2.43 ERA and an 0.95 WHIP in 63 innings, with 82 strikeouts.

Ngoepe is one of the best defensive players in the system and finally earned a promotion to AAA this year, after getting to Altoona in 2013. He has been having a strong season at the plate and was holding his own at Indianapolis until an oblique injury shut him down two weeks ago. Ngoepe started off slow, but that was likely due to him just hitting right-handed this year, as opposed to switch-hitting like he’s been doing since he signed. His defense is considered Major League ready at this point and he can play second base equally as well.

  • I can’t wait till J. Bell is on 1st. , Hanson is on second, with Kang at SS, and JHa on 3rd. That has the makings of a much better infield that what Hurdle runs out there every night.